Evaluation and Development of Unmanned Aircraft (UAV) for DOT Needs.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) manages several thousands of miles of roads of various classes. Every year UDOT makes an inventory of the conditions of highway features to determine possible maintenance actions. To goal is to maintain the infrastructure in the best conditions. UDOT Maintenance uses several methods including photographing the highways from a van, to assess the conditions of the features. These methods are expensive and time consuming, requiring many processing hours. USU Hydraulic Lab is developing technology to take high resolution pictures from an unmanned aircraft (UAV), model plane, guided by satellite on predetermined course. Potentially this technology could provide most of the information needed to inventory the features and conditions of highways at a very low cost and short time. Several specific benefits are possible from the UAV photographic capabilities. These include improving, but not limited to UDOT geographic information systems (GIS) databases with photos of ongoing and recent highway construction, fish passage culvert locations, wetlands and noxious weeds along highway corridors, highway structures and road maintenance issues. Because satellite imagery is normally only updated every few years, using geo-referenced UAV photographic images can provide high resolution aerial imagery to UDOT within hours instead of years in some cases. Not only will the turn-a-round time be significantly decreased, but, it is also expected that using the UAV images will decrease imagery cost.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Utah Department of Transportation

    4501 South 2700 West
    Project Development
    Salt Lake City, UT  USA  84114-8380
  • Project Managers:

    Fazio, Michael

  • Performing Organizations:

    Utah State University, Logan

    Structural Materials Research and Testing Lab
    Logan, UT  USA  84332-4110
  • Principal Investigators:

    Barfuss, Steven

  • Start Date: 20091001
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26122

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463968
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Utah Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 10-9119, 09.02-1
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:33PM